toy brand LEGO recently launched a new line of toys meant just for
girls -- but two young women, Bailey Shoemaker-Richards and Stephanie
Cole, think the products are unfairly "dumbed down" for girls.
The new line is called LadyFigs, and it's made up of busty, pastel-colored figurines that come with interests like shopping, hair-dressing, and lounging at the beach. The uninspired toys even come with pre-assembled environments -- so there is no assembly (or imagination) required.
always thought its toys were only for boys. In the 1980s, the company
was actually celebrated for a major advertising campaign that
spotlighted a young girl and her LEGO creation with the tagline "What it
is is beautiful." But since then, LEGO reversed course and decided to
market its products only to boys.
claims its research shows girls just don't appreciate the original LEGO
line. But Bailey and Stephanie argue that with LEGO's renewed emphasis
on boys -- featuring only boys in its ads and stocking products in the
boys' aisles of toy stores -- it's no wonder young girls wouldn't think
LEGOs were meant for them.
Bailey and Stephanie's fight to get LEGO to return to its gender-neutral toys is already making waves, with the Wall Street Journal, New York Times, and Time weighing in on the issue. But LEGO is stubbornly holding its ground and told Business Week
that the LadyFigs launch is a "strategic" move to "reach the other 50
percent of the world's children," as if girls have never been part of
Public pressure can prove LEGO wrong.
If enough people sign Bailey and Stephanie's petition, it could
convince LEGO that the new LadyFigs are bad business and the company
should return its focus to empowering boys AND girls with toys that
inspire creativity and innovation.